hanging out with julia and rachel

in addition to being an associate pastor, i also work at a local middle school. most of our family's "cash" income comes from the school. i say "cash" income, because when you factor in our church salary + the value of living in the parsonage rent free w/o paying for utilities it comes out in favor of the church compensation. so even though our paycheck from the church isn't much, we are very grateful for the full package and our compensation with the church. but we still need dinero to buy "stuff" (gas, clothes, food, insurance, school loans, etc.)

anyways, that being said i have a bit of a relaxed schedule in the summer time since i don't have to work at the school. and today while on my run i started wondering, "what does everyone else who works at the school do with their summer vacations?

i'm sure some of them get a 'summer' job and make extra money, some probably go traveling, or some probably do what i've been doing - nothing.

at the beginning of the summer i thought about getting another job. i even went so far as to ask my brother-in-law to join him in construction. but in the end that didn't work out and i didn't pursue anything else.

and as much as we could use the money to put towards our school loan debt, it's been really nice to just have lazy days. now when i say lazy, it's not like i'm not helping out around the house. but there's not really any pressing schedule on us.

it's nice to not be stressed out by trying to get to such and such a place, or leave by such and such a time, and then feel exhausted at the end of the day and not feel like we've spent any time together as a couple or with our kids.

in fact some days deb and i look at each other and say and/or think "what should we do today?" - "lets do something to fill the time" - "if we don't plan something, the day's just going to waste away"

now while some of you may read this and think what a great problem to have, or wish you too could have months of vacation time paid (btw, it's paid because they prorate the hours i work during the school year and divide by twelve. so during the school year i'm getting paid less than what the hours time my pay rate would equal).

and the fact is that compared to the rest of the industrialized world we lack WAY behind in terms of vacation time. a couple weeks ago we had some friends over for dinner. it was a high school friend of deb's and her husband and young child. he's from england and they are now both part of wycliff translators. anyways they came back to the states on "holiday" and they were around for like a month or more. and from what i understand when most people in the uk take their holiday pay, they actually use it to just relax and rejuvenate.

if you click on link above it will show you a comparison of the required vacation time employers are mandated to give in the G8 nations.

you know it's biblical. God commanded his people to take a vacation at least once a week. and when a couple was married they to take a year long honeymoon.

so even though you may not get almost 12 weeks off of work as i do, i encourage you to take time for yourself, for your family. don't live so rushed or hurried. it'd be good to say every once in a while, "i don't know, what do you wanna do?" (for some reason i recall seeing some video or movie or tv show where two people kept asking that to each other back and forth. but i couldn't remember what it was or a link to it, if you know what i'm talking about i'd love to hear about it.)

// today i'm thankful for:
1. my wife
2. air conditioning
3. winning two bids on ebay
4. one for a new camera
5. the other for an SD card and card reader
AuthorAbraham Lara

getting in shapeupdate: added videos with sound from today’s workout session


a few days ago i mentioned that i while watching “The Biggest Loser” on Hulu that i was kinda disgusted with the shape (or out of shape) i’m in.

so i’ve been very excited about going running with deb consistently. this past monday we started the Couch to 5K running plan. when i first went through this running series i listened to robert ullery’s set of podcasts (iTS link), but recently i found this set of tracks that follows the plan but with Christian music tracks. so we’re going to try that out on our next run.

well then my sister mentioned yesterday that she had gotten her kids a “Tae Bo” for kids video i knew it’d be something my kids would also enjoy. so, the loving/sharing family that we are, i borrowed the dvd, ripped it to my computer with Handbrake, and then transfered it to my ipod, plugged it into the TV and the fun began!

the picture in the upper right is the girls flexing their muscles. because according to danielle, she wants to do this exercise every day so that she can be stronger than daddy. it was funny to watch them every 10 minutes flex their arms to see their progress.

i think this is going to turn out to be a great summer to get fit and trim. i was just mentioning earlier today that we had no idea what to do today, and now we’re all heading out to the HS stadium to walk around the track. every tuesday & thursday evening they open up the track for the community to walk/run. so here we go.

now the other huge part of the equation is to get our eating habits under control. healthy food, smaller portions, no sugar, no late night junk food snacking.

we’ll keep you updated.


// today i'm thankful for:

1. summer vacation

2. a healthy family

3. anna got her glasses back, FINALLY!

4. great summer weather (high 80º’s to low 90ºs all week)

the babies are sleeping for longer periods at night

grrrr. just realized there’s no sound on the video because i forgot to change a setting on my computer before recording. perhaps i’ll repost the video w/sound tomorrow when the do it again.

AuthorAbraham Lara

compass hsduring the summer our local school district provides free lunches to children under 18 at various schools. i think they do this because they feel that there are a lot of kids left alone during the summer months while their parents are working. our schools have a pretty high percentage of students that already qualify for free or reduced lunch.

anyways, our girls love going. it’s not like they eat a lot. julia just kinda pecks at her food after being reminded to eat every couple minutes. but they like getting out of the house and going somewhere. and especially before the older girls went to school they liked feeling like “non-homeschool” kids by eating lunch on styrofoam trays in a gym cafeteria. plus during the summer when everyone’s home it makes it easy for us to feed the older sisters.

there’s two schools that are the same distance from our home that we could go to. the main HS is really nice, has hard plastic trays, and the AC is on because there’s also summer school classes going on. but there’s also older HS age kids eating because they’re in summer school classes.

the second school is the “alternative” HS. it’s the school that people go to when they drop out of the regular HS and then decide that they do want to graduate. (either that or they’re expelled from the regular HS and are sent to this school) anyways, it’s kinda ghetto. here’s a pic of the gym ceiling:

but the reason the girls like this one so much is because there are no summer school classes and so it’s mostly all elementary age kids that eat there. and also i think it’s because it’s the first school we went to when we first heard about this “free lunch” program so in their minds it’s the “right place” to go.

so that’s a daily part of our routine everyday during the summer (at least until the end of july when the the program ends). the only thing is that they only serve lunch from 12-12.30 and sometime it’s a challenge to get everyone’s shoes on, hair done, etc. because even though it’s a regular part of our routine we always seem to forget about it until noon and then we’re rushing to get there on time before they start putting everything away.

if you’re in the area join us for lunch. :)


// today i'm thankful for:

1. the lawn got mowed today

2. my monthly haircut today

3. the way the keyboard lights up in dim lighting on my MBP

4. running with my wife/friend this morning

5. pictures of my kids

AuthorAbraham Lara